Why Contour Kits Are Overrated ft. Kat Von D & Australis


Before you disagree with me, let me make a few things clear. The title should really say *Why certain 6-shade contour kits are overrated especially for brown skin. But that would’ve been an extremely long title and probably would not have caught your attention so…

I’ll start with a little story. When I first got into contouring, I loved the fact that most contour colours came in kits. It was the easy choice because you get all the shades you need and save $$ buying individual colours, right? Wrong. You get 1 or 2 shades you need, and the rest are usually untouched. The reason being is because contouring is all about creating the illusion of shadows. While theoretically the shadows on your face are formed by multiple shades of dark, trying to recreate this on your face with different colours is futile and quite frankly…looks hella weird in real life. So instead, we go for the darkest colour in the palette to chisel out those cheekbones. What do you do with the other 2 darker shades? Pretty much nothing. They’re just there to cater to a greater range of skin tones; for instance, your dark shade may be too light for another person.

What about the highlighting shades? Well here’s where the brown skin part comes in. On skin tones similar to mine, the highlight shades in most contour kits tend to look the same. You just don’t need all three of them.

Breakdown of Kat Von D SHADE+LIGHT Kit
I use subconscious as my contour shade, and honestly, I use concealers to brighten my highlight areas most of the time. Some good highlighting concealers include Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer, Mac Pro Longwear Concealer, and Kevin Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer. To set the highlight, you could then use any of the top 3 shades (lucid, lyric, levitation). As for the other 2 dark shades (sombre, shadowplay), they actually look super weird on my skin tone. They’re both very similar colours and turn out quite ashy-looking. While I’m not technically reviewing this palette, I have to comment on the amazing creaminess and pigment of the shades in this palette though – quality wise, it’s great!

Breakdown of Australia AC ON TOUR Kit 
This one is pretty much a dupe for ABH’s original contour kit in terms of colours, so you can probably relate if you have either. It’s also a little more well-rounded than the Kat Von D kit. I use the bottom middle or the bottom right for contouring. These are a little warmer than Kat Von D’s sombre, making it a nice choice for summer. I like the sparkly highlight shade (top left) as it makes the palette a little more versatile. For highlighting, either of the top right or top middle shades works the same for me, and as for the bottom right, it’s quite orangey, so I often use it to warm up my blush.
Even the palette only mentions the use of 2 colours
So what do I recommend instead?
Let’s be real. You only really need 2 shades for contouring – one dark shade for creating shadows and one light shade for highlighting the high points of your face. I’ve already recommended some concealers that do a good job of highlighting, but you can even use foundations, brush-on highlighters, powders, etc. Some good contour colours can be found in the form of contour sticks, duo sets, or even whole foundations as well (Kaushal beauty used 2 foundation colours for her highlight and contour routine video). Bottom line guys, makeup brands need to stop making overpriced contour kits with a gazillion shades, and instead just make more individual highlight/contour shades, offering a spectrum of colours to cater for different skin tones. Let me know what you think below! Do you agree/disagree/neither?

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